Native plants have a wide range of benefits for homeowners and the environment. They don’t need much beyond the natural rain, sunlight, and soil in their native region, so they’re easy to keep, saving owners time, money, and water. They also support local wildlife, including the insects that feed larger animals and the pollinators that keep plant populations healthy.
According to the Courier Journal article this Redditor shared, master gardener Jacquelyn Hawkins-McGrail lives in the Hunting Creek neighborhood of Prospect, Ky. In 2005, Hawkins-McGrail decided to turn her yard into a certified wildlife habitat, replacing her grass with a variety of native plants that support birds, monarch butterflies, and other living creatures.
This didn’t go over well with Hawkins-McGrail’s neighbors, the Courier Journal reports. At least one posted online to accuse her of “woke gardening,” while at least one other reported her to the city of Prospect, resulting in a citation, which Hawkins-McGrail was fighting.
As Hawkins-McGrail told the Courier Journal, grass didn’t even do well in her front yard thanks to the soil quality and the shade. “But native plants are adapted to native soil so if you find the right native plants they will grow,” she said.
For that purpose, Hawkins-McGrail chose coral honeysuckle, bee balm, clustered mountain mint, purple asters, goldenrod, and many more. However, the right plants change by location. Homeowners who aren’t sure what to plant can reach out to experienced rewilding landscapers like Yardzen.
While Hawkins-McGrail has experienced pushback, she told the Courier Journal that some of her neighbors love her garden, including the mayor.
The r/gardening community loved it, too. “Glad this is spreading,” said one user. “It’s big in Chicago and it really makes my walks lovely, especially since I got into raising butterflies this summer.”
“‘Woke’ gardening,” said another Redditor, adding a laughing emoji. “That’s awesome for this lady, but some of her neighbors are morons.”
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